EICAR Test Virus

A tiny file (not really a virus!) to test virus detection software

Last updated 7 April 2019

This test virus was developed by the European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research (EICAR) to provide an easy (and safe!) way to test whether your anti-virus software is working, and see how it reacts when a virus is detected. It is supported by most leading vendors, such as IBM, McAfee, Sophos, and Symantec/Norton.

Some software is distributed in a single zip file that contains other zip files. In 1999 I noticed that Norton AntiVirus 5.0 does not detect a virus in this situation. Try it with your anti-virus software...

Once you have downloaded these files, you might also want to e-mail them to yourself -- then you can see if your anti-virus software detects viruses in incoming e-mail attachments.

Remember, the EICAR test virus is not really a virus. It cannot do any harm to your system, even if your software does not detect it.

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